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Understanding business networks from a mixed network and system ontology position: A review of the research field
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6646-9798
2017 (English)In: The IMP Journal, ISSN 2059-1403, E-ISSN 0809-7259, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 301-326Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ontological implications of combining network and system ontology to conceptualize industrial networks as the empirical manifestations of complex adaptive economic systems.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper contributes with a systematic discussion on how network and system ontology can be combined to produce better understandings of business networks. It also provides a review of the state-of-the art research literature on the topic as a starting point for the discussion.

Findings: Findings indicate that networks may be enclosed in each other constituting sub-and supra-networks comprising increasing complexity. In these cases, sub-networks that are black-boxed can be seen as entities in themselves producing inputs and outputs to the supra-network. Networks, once they become black-boxed, can assume the functions of generative mechanisms within a wider supra-network.

Research limitations/implications: This research is conceptual in nature and needs to be complemented with empirical research. In addition, the literature review used one database complemented with papers from the IMP journal. A wider search could reveal additional research that can be of relevance for the development of the field.

Originality/value: This paper addresses the ontological and methodological issues arising from a mixed system and network ontology. These issues are commonly ignored or dealt with indirectly in extant literature. For any accumulation of knowledge in the field to be possible, the explication of a mixed ontology is important as it have conceptual and methodological consequences. Adopting such a mixed ontological position provides an ontology in line with empirical research of business practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017. Vol. 11, no 2, p. 301-326
Keywords [en]
Complex adaptive systems, Agent-based modelling, Network boundaries, Causal networks, Encapsulation, Network ontology
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-58976DOI: 10.1108/IMP-12-2015-0066ISI: 000404806600008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-58976DiVA, id: diva2:1129101
Available from: 2017-08-01 Created: 2017-08-01 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Prenkert, Frans

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CiteExportLink to record
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